Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry

Milkweed Editions
Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry

Established in 2011 with the aim of supporting outstanding poets from the upper Midwest and bringing their work to a national stage, the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry awards $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions to a poet residing in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Selected from a small number of finalists by an independent judge, the prizewinning poet will also receive a standard royalty contract, national distribution, and a comprehensive marketing and publicity campaign.

In addition, finalists will be invited to read at our annual National Poetry Month Party on April 26, 2018 at Open Book in Minneapolis. A public book launch and celebration for the winning poet will be held in November, also in Minneapolis.

Submissions Open: January 3–February 15, 2018
Finalists Announced: April 2018
Winner Announced: May 2018
Publication: November 2018

Complete Guidelines
  • Poets may submit one complete, book-length collection, defined as a manuscript of forty-eight or more pages. The submitted manuscript must be previously unpublished, though individual poems included may have been previously published in periodicals, chapbooks or anthologies. This is not exclusively a first book contest; poets may be at any stage in their career.
  • The poet must currently reside in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin.
  • Only online submissions via Submittable will be considered. There is no entry fee.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but poets must notify Milkweed Editions immediately by withdrawing their manuscript via Submittable if it is accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • Multiple submissions are not allowed. Poets may only submit one manuscript to the contest and, further, if you have previously submitted a manuscript to Milkweed Editions and it is still under consideration, you must withdraw it via Submittable before submitting to the contest.
  • We aim to ensure an ethical contest. Poets should refrain from entering the contest if their relationship to the judge in a given year constitutes a conflict of interest. Milkweed Editions reserves the right to disqualify any entries deemed to jeopardize the integrity of the contest. Similarly, poets published by Milkweed Editions within the preceding two years are not eligible to enter. Submissions will not be accepted from employees of Lindquist & Vennum, The Minneapolis Foundation, Milkweed Editions, or their families or relations.
  • MANUSCRIPT FORMATTING: Submissions will be reviewed anonymously. No identifying information may appear on the pages of the manuscript. Do not include an acknowledgments page. If the author's name appears within the body of the text, please omit it, black it out, or use a pseudonym (this may be changed and an acknowledgments page can be added if the manuscript is selected for publication). Please include a title page (with the author's name omitted) and a table of contents. Pages must be numbered.
  • Incomplete submissions cannot be guaranteed consideration for the prize. Milkweed Editions reserves the right to disqualify any entries deemed to jeopardize the integrity of the contest.




Caitlin Bailey

The Trakl siblings were gifted and troubled: Georg a poet, Grete a pianist, and both gone at a young age. Inspired by their mysterious and intense relationship, the winner of the 2017 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is a keening...

Chris Santiago

Tula: a ruined Toltec capital; a Russian city known for its accordions; Tagalog for “poem.” Inspired by the experiences of the second-generation immigrant who does not fully acquire the language of his parents, the winner of the 2016...

Beautiful Zero
Jennifer Willoughby

Incantatory, intimate, and incendiary, the winner of the 2015 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is filled with explosive wit and humor. Yet even at their most surreal—whether taking as their subject a Kaiser Permanente hospital, Shark Week...

You Must Remember This
Michael Bazzett

A woozy logic dominates these poems: a heart can become a buzzing hive of bees, a rooster can trigger a series of bombs, a young man can embrace a city bus as his spirit animal. The winner of the 2014 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is a...

Glass Armonica
Rebecca Dunham

The winner of the 2013 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry probes the depths of the human psyche. These are poems spoken through and for the melancholic, the hysteric, the body dysmorphic—from Mary Glover to Lavinia Dickinson to Freud’s famed...

This prize is made possible by the LINDQUIST & VENNUM FOUNDATION, which was established by the Minneapolis-headquartered law firm of Lindquist & Vennum LLP and is a donor-advised fund of The Minneapolis Foundation.